Putting value for money into practice

This online course will build your confidence and skills in using VFM techniques when designing and implementing programmes and reporting back to institutional donors.

Course dates

  • Do you often find yourself having to write a Value for Money (VfM) section for a commercial or technical proposal, but you’re not really sure what to write? 
  • Do you to want to know whether your programme is delivering VfM but are not really sure how to track it? 
  • Are you unclear about what to write in the VfM sections of reports required by DFID or other donors? 
  • Are you curious about how to make VfM something useful for your organization and to generate learning? 

If the answer of any of these questions is yes, then this is the right course for you! 

Since 2010, donors have increasingly required organisations to demonstrate the Value for Money of their interventions. While DFID has been the pioneer of the concept, many donors are following suit and now expect organisations they fund to be able to demonstrate VfM at different stages of the programme cycle. 

The course builds on very practical applications of VfM to respond to donor requirements and to foster learning, which have been tested by several organisations, including ActionAid, the Danish Refugee Council, the World Health Organization, Womankind Worldwide and Trocaire, among others. 

Course structure 

Six live online sessions, plus individual work between the sessions. 

Total time commitment over the period of the course is 19 hours: 

  • 10 hours of live online sessions (90 minutes per session, twice a week) 
  • 9 hours of self-paced activities (3 hours per week, at a time to suit you) 

Who is it for?

Suitable for those who are new to or have little experience of managing and measuring VFM in programme design, proposal writing and the preparation of programme budgets.

What you will learn

  • Why VFM is important to NGOs and people living in poverty
  • The importance of different perspectives when assessing VfM
  • Donor approaches to VFM (with a focus on DFID)
  • Analysing the VFM of different programme design options
  • Analysing budgets and linking these outputs to outcomes
  • Articulating VfM arguments in donor proposals and reports
  • Enabling programme beneficiaries to assess VfM
  • Using appropriate tools to measure and assess VfM at different stages of the programme cycle
  • Designing VfM Frameworks and VfM indicators 


This course will be delivered entirely online, through facilitated live sessions (using Zoom) as well as individual and group activities on the Bond learning platform. We work hard to make sure you get the same level of interaction and facilitator support as you would in our training room. You’ll work in breakout rooms, use case studies and co-create documents – all online

1. What does VfM actually mean? 

  • What VfM means in practice 
  • Whose value counts 
  • How DFID and other donors approach VfM 
  • The 4Es Framework 

2. How do we apply VfM in proposals? 

  • Collecting evidence for options analysis 
  • The VfM lens when developing budgets 
  • Bringing costs and results together: improving programme quality 

3. Implementing programmes: How do we measure VfM? 

  • Contextualizing the 4Es 
  • Indicators to measure VfM 
  • VfM Frameworks 

4. Implementing programmes: What is a participatory approach to VfM? 

  • Enabling stakeholders to assess VfM 
  • Step-by-step process to conduct participatory VfM assessments 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of participatory VfM 

5. Reporting of VfM 

  • Key themes of 4Es reports 
  • Alternative approaches to VfM reporting 

6. What is the VfM debate? 

  • Applying VfM: trends across the sector 
  • ICAI’s review of DFID’s approach to VfM 
  • What the VfM debate means for my organisation


Check the live session start and end time in your timezone here (please ensure you choose the right date when checking timezones).

Monday 28th February 2022: meet and greet session (14.00 - 15.00 pm, GMT) 

Tuesday 1st March 2022: live online session one (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours) 

Friday 4th March 2022: live online session two (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours) 

Tuesday 8th March 2022: live online session three (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours) 

Friday 11th March 2022: live online session four (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours) 

Tuesday 15th March 2022: live online session five (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours) 

Friday 18th March 2022: live online session six (14.00 - 15.30 pm, GMT) 

Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)  

Booking deadline

Bookings will close at 15:00 GMT the last working day before the course to enable us to email participants the joining instructions ahead of the first live session.

Course prices

Band 1


Band 2

Bond members >£2M annual spend

Band 3

Bond members <£2M annual spend

* 10% off if you book 8 weeks in advance; 5% off 3 or more bookings.

Contact us for special discounts if you're a student or unemployed.


off if you book early*


off multiple bookings*

Event dates

Monday, February 28, 2022 to Friday, March 18, 2022

16 places available


Learning and change (L&C) Ltd

Director of the consultancy company ‘Learning and Change Ltd’. Supports INGOs and UN Agencies with the development of MEAL and Value for Money frameworks and tools.